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A correspondence, which I flattered myself in former times was mutually agreeable, has of late somehow strangely found an end. You may remember, when you left Canada, I engaged to answer your first letter immediately, and to continue writing from that time, by every opportunity, as usual. I concluded your letters must have miscarried, and wrote you a line by Mr. Avery. I had no direct intelligence from you, till a verbal message by Mr. Duggan, the beginning of May. A few days after, I received a letter from Colonel Ogden by Colonel Allen. I should have answered it, but had determined to visit my native colony, and expected, by personal interview, to answer purposes which I scarce hoped the cold medium of ink and paper could effect.
That I unfortunately missed you on my way hither, I need not relate. At Albany I first heard you had passed me. I was upon the point of following you; but the character of troublesome fool struck me in so disagreeable a light, that, in spite of myself, I continued my journey.
There is in man a certain love of novelty; a fondness of variety (useful, indeed, within proper limits), which influences more or less in almost every act of life. New views, new laws, new friends, have each their charm. Truly great must be the soul, and firm almost beyond the weakness of humanity, that can withstand the smiles of fortune. Success, promotion, the caresses of the great, and the flatteries of the low, are sometimes fatal to the noblest minds. The volatile become an easy prey. The fickle heart, tiptoe with joy, as from an eminence, views with contempt its former joys, connexions, and pursuits. A new taste contracted, seeks companions suited to itself. But pleasures easiest tasted, though perhaps at first of higher glee, are soonest past, and, the more they are relied upon, leave the severer sting behind. One cloudy day despoils the glow-worm of all its glitter.
Should fortune ever frown upon you, MATT.; should those you now call friends forsake you; should the clouds gather force on every side, and threaten to burst upon you, think then upon the man who never betrayed you; rely on the sincerity you never found to fail; and if my heart, my life, or my fortune can assist you, it is yours.
I go to-morrow to Elizabethtown, where I shall see the best of women--your wife. Whatever letters or commands she may have for you, I shall be careful to forward by the safest hands.
- Aaron Burr
- Project Gutenberg's Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Volume 1., by Matthew L. Davis, 1836